A police officer realised a man who went on to commit a murder-suicide had access to guns — but when he told the appropriate division, they did not investigate.
A police officer realised a man who went on to commit a murder-suicide had access to guns — but when he told the appropriate division, they did not investigate.

Police bungle before murder-suicide

Eleven years before a man committed an unspeakable murder-suicide, a police officer realised he had access to guns despite being banned from a firearms license due to his history of family violence.

But after the eagle-eyed cop forwarded his report onto the appropriate branch - the Victoria Police Firearms Licensing Services Division - no further investigation was undertaken, the Coroners Court of Victoria heard on Wednesday.

Charles Bisucci would later use one of those guns to shoot his partner Marilyn Burdon before killing himself in her Kew mansion after she told him she didn't want him.

The inquest is investigating the circumstances of the murder-suicide of August 21, 2017, including how Bisucci was able get his hands on a gun.

Bisucci's gun license was permanently cancelled in 2004 during his separation from his ex-wife.

But the court previously heard his friends registered his 15 guns in their own names, including six in the name of friend Sebastian Carmuciano - one of which was used to murder Ms Burdon.

In 2006, then-Senior Constable Ian Miles learned two guns registered to Mr Carmuciano were located on Bisucci's farm at Rawson in regional Victoria.

He told the court he sent a memo to the Licensing Services Division, responsible for regulating firearms in the state.

A police officer had conducted an inspection of Bisucci's property, where he found the guns kept in a shipping container.

Charles Bisucci kept guns in a shipping container on his property in regional Victoria despite being banned from owning firearms due to his history of family violence. Picture: Supplied
Charles Bisucci kept guns in a shipping container on his property in regional Victoria despite being banned from owning firearms due to his history of family violence. Picture: Supplied

"The premises for inspection is not owned by the subject of this file but is in fact owned by Charles Bisucci," the memo said.

"Bisucci is a prohibited person under the firearms act and his firearms license has been cancelled.

"I have tried unsuccessfully to contact Carmuciano, and when I rung the mobile number recorded, Bisucci answered the phone."

But the Licensing Services Division did not investigate the "irregularities" further, counsel assisting the court Naomi Hodgson said.

"It appears nothing was actually done in response to Mr Miles' query," she said.

She said "with the benefit of hindsight, this was significant" as one of those guns was later used to murder Ms Burdon.

The inquest continues Thursday.

Originally published as Police bungle before murder-suicide tragedy



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